North Anderson Baptist Church
HOME: The Church: Living Stones, Part 1
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Our outline for this message is:
1.The Living Stone - v. 4
2. Living Stones - v. 5
3. A Chosen and Precious Cornerstone - vv. 6-8
4. The Church and Their Mission - vv.9-10
(Today though we will look at 1 & 2 in the outline and leave 3 & 4 for next week.)
What does the word “church” mean? Most of the people you talk to will tell you that church is the building, the place where people go to “church.” So, most people define it as “a building.” In the Bible there is a totally different concept presented for the definition of “church.” In Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” church is used by Jesus to mean an “assembly” of people. The Greek word is “ekklesia.” This word is used for church or meeting or meeting house. It is also thought to be used for a gathering or assembly of Christian believers, a church in one place. Each of these are given to us by George Rickter Berry. But when you go to the Greek Lexicon NAS NT, you will find the definition is somewhat more expanded. It is:A gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly,
a. an assembly of the people convened at a public place of the council for the purpose of dilberating,
b. the assembly of the Israelites,
c. any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously and a Christian sense - (1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting; (2) a company of Christians, of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake; (3) those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body; (4) the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth; (5) the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.

In any case we see ekklesia is really a gathering, an assembly of people gather for a purpose. In the Christian sense, we can see that there is no mention of a building but a “people gathering for worship of the Lord Jesus Christ” or the collective, all over the earth, of all those who believe in Christ and have the hope of eternal life, and those who are already in heaven. We are the church! The church of Jesus Christ who gather at North Anderson Baptist Church, a local body of believers choosing to meet together as the body of Christ in this place.

Having said that, we use church all the time as a building, “I go to church down at North Anderson Baptist, you know, the stone church on Clemson Boulevard across from McDougald Funeral Home.” We know the difference but we rarely use it correctly.

In our passage today, Peter writes about the church and it’s real foundation, the One who is in charge and died for the “church.”
1. The Living Stone - v.4

4 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—”

The Lord Jesus Christ is The Living Stone! Another version of the Bible says, “As coming to Him…” basically saying as we come to the Lord Jesus, The Living Stone, we will see that He was rejected by men of His day and yet chosen by the Lord God Almighty. How unwise were the people of Jesus’ day. “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) The Jews who were His own, and should have known Him because the Scriptures foretold His coming as the Messiah, they chose not to believe Him to be The Promised One. They did have a choice to believe, as today, we have a choice to believe. They chose not to accept Him for who He says He was and today so many also choose to not accept Him for who He is. We see this is true in John 1:10, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.” Isn’t it interesting that the creator of the universe came to His creation and they didn’t recognize Him as their maker. Even though He did the miracles that would convince a sane man or woman, most of those He came into contact with did not choose to believe in Him or recognize that He was this creator and could do what He wanted with His creation.

Isn’t it like that today? People choose not to believe even though the proof is in the Bible. So many will not believe what they read in the Bible or hear about it because they deny the truth. Even when you point out the obvious regarding the creation, people have decided not to believe what they call fantasy or illogical thought.

Because Peter is going to reveal that Jesus was the One who was the real Stone, the Living Stone, Peter uses this “figure of speech” - stone - used for building. There is more to it than just that. In the Matthew passage that I read earlier when Jesus talked about building His church, He said that he will “build” His church upon “this rock.” What is He talking about? The rock to which Jesus refers is indeed Himself! Jesus will not build His church on a human being, because if He did then it is dependent upon a human being for it to be a success or failure. Jesus and Jesus alone is the “Rock” to which Matthew’s writing is referring. Jesus says, “I will build my church on Me.” One writer put it this way: Peter portrays the church as a living, spiritual temple, with Christ as the foundation and cornerstone and each believer as a stone. Paul portrays the church as a body, with Christ as the head and each believer as a member (see, for example,Ephesians 4:15, 16). Both pictures emphasize community. One stone is not a temple or even a wall; one body part is useless without the others. In our individualistic society, it is easy to forget our interdependence with other Christians. When God calls you to a task, remember that he is also calling others to work with you. Together your individual efforts will be multiplied. Look for those people and join with them to build a beautiful house for God. Life Application Study Bible.

Matthew recorded Jesus saying that He is the Rock on which the church will be built and Peter says in his letter that Jesus is The Living Stone and the Cornerstone.
Jesus may have been rejected by men, but He was found precious by God, His Father.
2. Living Stones - v. 5

5 “ also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Who are “the living stones?” You and I and all the Christians that have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior are “the living stones.” The living stones are not only individuals but they are all Christians as “a collective” as well. I personally am being built up as a believer as a part of the church, then all living stones are being built up together as the collective or universal church of Jesus Christ, all over the world, as one. There are spiritual houses everywhere. They are called local churches, places of worship with those who confess Jesus as Lord and worship together in their collective convictions as a group. But you also, as an individual, are a spiritual house, who is a depositee of the Holy Spirit; you are being built up into a spiritual house acceptable to the Lord. Notice that the last part of that verse says, “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Each of us are to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to the Lord Jesus Christ. That sounds familiar. Let’s read Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

In this verse from the KJV of the Bible, it says that your bodies are to be living sacrifices as well spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto God. Have you presented your body to be a “living sacrifice” to Him so that you are acceptable and pleasing to God? God calls for each of us to be acceptable to Him in life, worship and service. But He also is saying that every church, the believers coming together as a church, are to be acceptable to Him as well. Reading about the seven churches of Revelation (Revelation 2-3) we see that Jesus tells us that some of the churches are not acceptable to Him in their beliefs or their actions and worship. We should strive to be acceptable in all that we do for the Lord here at NABC. How do we do that? How are we to know if we have been acceptable? Evaluation of our worship, programs and ministries should be conducted to determine if we are living up to the Scriptural standards that are set by the Lord God.
How about your personal evaluation...

What is your personal evaluation of your own life?

Are you honest with yourself?

Have you gone to the Word of God and looked at your life in comparison to its standards?

How about your worship, attendance, love, ministries involved in, gifts used for His glory, the giving of your money for the glory of the Lord and for His use throughout all the world?

How about your behavior and attitude toward others in the church and outside the church?
As a member of this body of believers or the Church at North Anderson, we are all responsible for the lives we live individually before Christ and then together we are responsible for this “church” and the mission we have before the Lord. Are we faithful to that mission? Do we even know what that mission is?

Today is a great day to take inventory of our personal lives and the life of the church as a whole. If you feel that you have looked at your life and that you are lacking in an area or two, then decide NOW to surrender your life and actions before the Lord and commit your way to Him. If this decision needs to be made public then come and let’s tell the church what that decision is. If you believe that the church has missed the mark on our mission then you need to make known to the leadership the ideas you feel can correct that situation. Let us know now.

Today, if you have come and you can not say that you are a part of this “church,” the Church of Jesus Christ because you have never given you life and heart to Jesus through confession of sin and surrender of your life; come now to receive Him by faith. We will show you how and lead you to make that decision. There are some here today that need to make that decision, won’t you come?

Also, today we have boys and men who have been to RA camp this weekend and maybe some of you have made decisions for Christ there. If you have why don’t you come and let the church know what those decisions are and we can pray for you as well. What about those who made decisions at VBS? If you haven’t made those decisions public to the church yet maybe you need to make them known now, You come too.


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby